We know that cocoa, the pure form of chocolade, is an excellent superfood as it is packed with flavanols (antioxidants) that protect our cells from damage. So the logical question is, can cocoa help us with healthy aging by reducing inflammation, one of the main causes of age-related diseases?

This is a central investigation question of the on-going COSMOS Trial (COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study). This Trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study with a total of 21.442 participants, including 12.673 women aged above 65 years old and 8.769 men aged above 60 years old with an average of 4 years of treatment and follow-up. The researchers aim to investigate whether taking daily supplements of cocoa flavanols (500 mg/day) or a common multivitamin is able to reduce inflammaging and epigenetic aging, consequently reducing the risk for developing age-related diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Both inflammaging and epigenetic aging are considered good indicators of our biological age as they reflect an impact of lifestyle and genetics on our health.

Inflammaging has been defined in the study as chronic, low grade inflammation that increases the risk of the age-related diseases. It will be measured by both main pro- (C-reactive protein, tumor necrosis factor alpha) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) measures. Based on the analysis of inflammaging the researchers will explore interaction between inflammaging and epigenetic aging.

Epigenetic aging is characterized by the changes of the physical structure of our DNA which turn our genes on or off, depending on our lifestyle factors and our environment.

Besides inflammaging and epigenetic aging, more standard aging measures will be used, like blood pressure and cognitive function tests to understand better and dieper the investigated interaction.

The researchers believe that their study will provide with a solid scientific evidence of either the prominent or no role of cocoa- and multivitamin supplements in our healthy aging. All we need to do is to wait patiently for the results and meanwhile enjoy foods rich in flavanols, which are not only present in cacao, but also in berries, dark grapes, citrus fruits, onions, kale, tomatoes, and red wine (in moderation!).

Curious? HERE is the source

More about the COSMOS Trial

Tatsiana Haponava, PhD

a certified nutrition coach, educator and researcher with a PhD degree

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